Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Passion for Pits

Growing up, I was a cat person. Most of my adult life, I was a cat person. See? These are my cats:

She loves the sink, hates the water!
He has an obsession with pizza boxes.

They are BFF snuggle buddies

Then, almost a year ago, I became a dog person. Yes, that's right. I switched teams. And I've fallen for my dogs. Hard. They've stolen my heart the moment I laid eyes on them and they've never given it back.

Okay, let me back up and tell you how this happened. It was April 2013. My husband, who is a dog guy, was talking about wanting to get a dog. I wasn't overly thrilled with the idea, but if he wanted to take on the responsibility then I was fine with it. So, he began visiting shelters and searching on local adoption sites. He wasn't finding a dog that he felt would be a good fit for him and our children, so I pushed the idea of a dog to the back of my mind.

Until early April when I returned home from my day long RWA meeting and I found this little fella waiting for me:
Black Lab / Beagle mix
Of course, I fell instantly in love. I mean, how couldn't I? Just look at those eyes...and those ears! My husband was proud of the new addition to our family, always referring to Max as "his" dog. So, we -- and by we I mean me and Max -- quickly fell into a routine of morning walks and countless trips outside to use the bathroom. But he's still my husband's dog. *sigh*

About a month later, Mother's Day weekend, I was trolling around on Facebook when a friend posted a picture of the cutest little pit bull puppy with the most heart wrenching story. My friend was out for a run at the local reservoir when he encountered a puppy -- abandoned, alone, cold, hungry, and bloated badly from a severe case of worms. Said friend rescued the puppy, but was honest that he couldn't keep it himself. If he wasn't able to find a home for the puppy by Monday, he would have no choice but to take the puppy to the local pound.

That thought alone was enough to break my heart. This poor little pup had been through so much already in his short life that I couldn't let him go through any more. And so I begged my husband to once again open our home. He agreed, and we welcomed Nico into our lives.

Napping with his chew toy.

He was just 6 weeks old when he was found. Nico quickly became *my* puppy. He's a Momma's boy and isn't afraid to show it. See?
Sleeping on his blankie next to Mommy.

It's very difficult to write with Nico's head on my lap,
and he does this daily. 
Did I mention he's lazy, too?

I'll be honest, when I first heard he was a Pit Bull, I was nervous. As a breed, they don't have a very good reputation. They're known for being aggressive and mean. I was worried that he wouldn't fit in with our cats and kids. But knowing he was so young, I had hopes that I could teach him to be a lover not a fighter. And let me say, I think I went a little overboard. lol. But I have to say, my Nico is the calmest, most loving dog I have ever met. He's always eager to give kisses and snuggle. He'll even roll around on the floor with the kids as they wrestle. He joins right in, but never becomes mean toward them. If anything, the kids get annoyed because he won't stop licking them. 

Now, with 5 kids, 3 cats, and 2 dogs in our house, we were pretty well set. 

And then we found Lucy. Another Pit Bull puppy in desperate need of a home.

My husband was searching through Craigslist -- always a dangerous thing for him to do because it usually ends up costing us money we don't have. *sigh* Anyway, he happened upon Lucy's picture and her story. She was the runt of a litter. All of her siblings had been given to good homes, but she was still around. Her owner was neglecting her, so a young couple had taken Lucy. Unfortunately, they couldn't keep her and this is who we got her from. We drove almost an hour to go get her. The second I held her, I knew we were bringing home a third dog. 

She has adjusted very well. She and Nico are best buddies, always snuggling on the couch or chair together. 

MOM! Lucy's laying on me again! 

Who's the top dog now? 

I never imagined I'd become a die hard dog lover. But here I am. I have a passion for Pit Bulls, and I'm not afraid to say so. They're a great breed and don't deserve the bad rap they've gotten over the years. 

Share your stories in the comments. Have you rescued a dog / cat? Tell me about it. Feel free to share a picture, too!